What’s not to love about Alison Moyet? I’ve been a fan of hers since the days of Yazoo: is there a more poignant love song than ‘Only You’? Having successfully forged a path in the 1980s, when there weren’t that many other solo British female artists around, she’s one of the few who has managed to retain both credibility and success. She also, it has to be said, comes across as a genuinely lovely person: ballsy, but nice with it.
Her music has formed the soundtrack to my life – and tonight, finally, I got to see Alison perform live. And at one of my favourite venues, too: the London Palladium, where so many other talented entertainers have appeared over the years. What a treat. And the venue, unsurprisingly, was packed; an expectant air hanging across an audience of all ages. Such a great atmosphere, even before the concert began.
With the auditorium plunged into virtual darkness, Alison made an incredibly dramatic entrance, launching straight into ‘I’m Here’. Tall, striking and clad head-to-toe in black, this was clearly a woman who meant business.
“I’m going to sing some songs from my latest album, ‘Other’, which is a return to electronica – but don’t worry, I’ll definitely be performing songs from my 35-year back catalogue, too”, she announced, to cheers.
‘Other’ is a good album and I recommend checking it out if you haven’t already done so – ditto Alison’s previous album, ‘The Minutes’ – but I suspect that most people were there to hear the golden oldies. “This is a song I wrote 40 years ago, when I was 16”, Alison explained, as she began singing ‘Nobody’s Diary’, receiving a rapturous response in the process. Interestingly, she declined to sing ‘Invisible’, despite requests from the audience: “It’s a heinous, horrible song”, she stated, flatly. Is it? I always rather liked that song!
She did, however, sing ‘Only You’ – cleverly doing so about half way through the evening. I’d expected it as an encore, but given how much the evening was based around the new album it was a good idea to sing it then, ensuring that the audience stayed with her.
‘Beautiful Girl’ was well-received, and then: “This is a classic. I realise most of you don’t know it”, Alison teased, before launching into ‘All Cried Out’ – to general jubilation. Talking about the title track of her new album, Alison mused: “I’ve always felt myself to be ‘an other’ – but you know what? In middle age, that’s a nice thing to be.” A switch of pace, then, with ‘Love Resurrection’ receiving just as warm a welcome as ‘Only You’, performing it against the eeriest backdrop I’ve ever seen. Never before, I wager, has the London Palladium heaved with so many ecstatic, middle-aged bodies.
And of course, what could the finale be, other than an impassioned version of ‘Don’t Go’ with the audience on its feet, whooping & cheering. That song hasn’t aged a day – and nor has any of Alison’s other work. What a brilliant singer and musician she is, and how much she deserves the longevity her career has achieved. This was a fantastic night: the perfect blend of nostalgia and new beginnings – and it’s great to see Alison winning a whole new legion of fans.